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07 October 2009


How ironic that with an Eagles centric approach USAR runs out of money for the Eagles.

USAR spends all of its IRB grants, big slugs of its National Guard sponsorship and a large percentage of CIPP dues on the Eagles and still has to cancel matches and can't provide the Eagles players with simple benefits like insurance.

This is mismanagement. Too much compensation spent on too few individuals. Waste and poor management is unchecked and widespread in Boulder. Millions of dollars spent on the worst record in our history, no benefits to players and now the international embarrassment of a test match cancellation.

If this is USAR's track record for the Eagles, can you imagine the neglect other parts of USAR are experiencing? We know that Melville, Roberts and company care about the Eagles, they regard international rugby like a badge on their chest, and this is their record??? How badly is domestic rugby being treated, if the Eagles centric approach is failing...using all the money?

Before everyone goes and blames USA Rugby for losing this event, they should check to see if Fiji was backing out because of financial considerations. If memory serves me correctly, there were some articles out on the net indicating that Fiji Rugby was having serious financial setbacks and that they were being propped up through "grants". In this instance, while it is good to question how USA Rugby is spending its money on the Eagles, it is probably a financially sound move not to have the event - especially at Thanksgiving when no one would be in attendance.

If its a good idea to back out now because of Thanksgiving, why did Melville issue the released mentioned above in Kurt's post?

"We are delighted to host a great rugby nation like Fiji."

Maybe he didn't understand America celebrates Thanksgiving. He went on in that release to state he thought the match could be a commercial success.

Norris, you can't have it both ways. Melville should have said no to the match when it was offered, or followed through with hosting the match once it was agreed to.

The cost to host and look after the Fijian was the responsibility of USAR, so I don't think we can blame this on Fijians financial issues.

This is another example of poor management of USA Rugby.

From what I am told the problem is with the Fiji internationals that are based in France, Italy, Ireland and the UK. To fly them to the USA for one match makes no sense, even when the rest of the Fijians need to fly through the west coast of the USA, and Fiji administrators realized that taking a side big enough to cover for missing European pros for the USA match made no sense. I give USA Rugby a pass on this one. Don't think they had many options on this one.

However, you have to wonder if the lack of funds is why USA Rugby didn't set up some autumn fixtures with someone? Rugby Canada managed to arrange to get Japan and Russia to come to the great north to play some matches. Why couldn't USA Rugby manage to get matches against some other low tier 2 or 3 countries?

Playing an international on Thanksgiving weekend is as bad of an idea as hosting a Bledisoe Cup in a 75,000 seat stadium in Denver during the middle of the NFL season. As a minnow sport you don't try to take on the biggest sport out there during it's prime part of the season.
We should be thankful that both fell through.

Fiji didn't cancel this test match, USA Rugby was the canceling party.

USA Rugby accepted the match on the Thanksgiving date and now how backed out of it.

They informed Fiji so time ago they were having financial difficulties and officially canceled just recently. FRU immediately announced the test had been canceled.

It appears USA Rugby didn't inform their public of the same, allowing the cancellation to be leaked out.

With all that is coming out about the true exposure of the Ruggers/Kooga lawsuit, the actual deal points of the Tatham sanctioned Sevens agreement, international test match cancellation, true sponsorship picture and the shell game that typifies the USARFU's financial results.

It is worrisome the Congress members are no longer welcome to sit in on Board of Director meetings as observers. At the last Board-Congress meeting it was made known that the Congress wasn't invited to observe our unions work in progress. Something that has always been allowed. When the Boards executive management was divided into regular Board status and Board's Management Committee, similar to the current Board and Congress structure, these types of observation visits were a healthy aspect of our governance. These open invitations allowed for a confidential view of how those in power were processing the business of the union.

Now we have a system of secretive behavior and governance. It is clear the Board and it's CEO don't answer all questions from Congress truthfully. It appears the Board uses this private time to prepare their stories for Congress and their constituents.

Open Letter to the IRB

Dear IRB,

The current governance of American rugby has become an insidious and coordinated marketing job on the US rugby membership.

US rugby has issued an emergency SOS.

We are being held captive by a dishonorable Board and CEO.

Please assist!

Isn't the USA 7s team leaving on Thanksgiving Day to Dubai? Like they do every year? Kurt can you confirm that the 7s team has cancelled there camp in preparation for the iRB 7s season? Also USA Rugby head office made them pull out of there tour to Australia and Pan Am qualifier in Mexico?


Contact OCHO CINCO and tell him you want to see him in US red white and blue playing rugby come Olympics time. Tell him that the NBA shouldnt have all the fun with their Olympic runs. If there is someone who can create a buzz it's him. And he is definitely crazy enough to think about trying to get on an Olympic team. Biggest stage = more attention for him. His teammate at Cinci Dhani Jones did that playing sports around the world thing so it might just connect. It is worth a shot. Worth a short message for sure. I sent one but doubt it will get noticed. If 10-15 do then that could be a dent in his inbox.

It would be hilarious and awesome if eh said one word about the announcement on friday

USAR just passed on the best chance we've had in several years to move up the rankings.

Fiji are ranked 9-10 spots higher than the Eagles and they're beatable on the road. I saw the Eagles beat Fiji in San Francisco in 1998. The Eagles almost got them in RWC 2003, losing by a point.

How much could it cost to house and feed 30 rugby players and hold and event?

The west coast Fijian community could host the event, as well as USAR could, or better.

What a bunch of losers!

Wouldn't it be great if every 4 years the very best NFL players got together to win an Olympic Gold metal in rugby 7s? NOT! Let's have rugby stand on its own two feet with rugby grown talent. NFL rejects? Sure. NFL stars looking for Olympic glory with no knowledge or respect for rugby will make use the most hated rugby nation in the world. Post try dances and spiking of the ball? Multi-million dollar NFL stars acting like rap and rock stars at a rugby event? No thanks.

Wow... you people are all idiots.

It seems none of you read the whole press release when USAR announced the match with Fiji. (Which can be found on their website) USAR was not paying for the Fijians to come over, the RFU and the Aussie RFU were to pay for it with the proceeds of the Aus/Eng match:

"USA Adds Fiji Test to Fall Schedule
BOULDER, Colo. - The USA Rugby Football Union officially announced an addition to its fall schedule. The USA will now play Fiji on the Pacific Coast in late November thanks to a partnership between USA Rugby, the Rugby Football Union, Fiji Rugby Union and the Australia Rugby Union.

England had originally been scheduled to face Fiji on November 28, but have now set up a game against Australia for November 7. Fiji will now play a test match against the USA before playing Australia in Sydney in a ranking Test in June 2010.

All these changes have been approved by the International Rugby Board (IRB) and are part of a package of global measures to offer enhanced financial support to the Fiji Rugby Union which has been faced with the loss of its major sponsor, Flour Mills of Fiji, and the recording of a F$770,000 loss in its last financial year. The changes also complement ongoing IRB support for Fiji including significant annual development and high performance investments and the awarding of the hosting rights for the IRB funded 2009 ANZ Pacific Nations Cup."

So the RFU has changed plans, and funding fell through. USAR & Fiji are not responsible.

Also... "Quitters" said: "How much could it cost to house and feed 30 rugby players and hold and event?"

Do you have the pocket change to fly in all the players, put them up in a hotel for at least 7 days (min $100/night pp), pay stadium rental, bus rental, training field rental, and food costs.. just to name a few??! The answer to your question is: MILLIONS. Since most people here think USAR just wastes millions ever day, consider it a good move.

Its unfortunate that the game was canceled, but financially, it makes sense.

I read that Roberts doesn't like brown people and called the match. Something about let them clean my undies and cut my lawn....oh well.

NFL = no thanks guy, you are of course making a lot of assumptions. Given it wont happen for 7 more years there is no need to react that way. So you dont like some things in the NFL. got it. the point was about creating a buzz. I'll take it anyway it comes

Dear "None of you could do better",

We have done better,as a union, in every aspect of operations, than USA Rugby has been doing over the past three error-filled years. It is time for a major change.

Your math is horrible. It would not cost millions, so save the drama. It would only cost a fraction of what we pay Melville and O'Sullivan.

Dear none of you could do better,

You are an idiot and a danger to yourself if you thinks it cost MILLIONS to host this one match.

Not only would this match not cost million's', it wouldn't cost in total gross expenses $250k. After income it probably makes a few bucks.

USAR can rent on an all-in basis several west-coast small stadiums for $25-50k, we could assemble the Fijians for $35k on the west-coast, feed and house them better than they do for themselves for about the same $30k. Keep going with this math and you'll never get to $250k.

Why do you Melville apologetic fools continue to post such dribble. You deserve this reaming you're receiving.

By the way, I did read the whole release when it was issued by USAR. Nothing has changed with England or the IRB. It's USAR who after agreeing to host this test on this very weekend have decided they can't pull it off.

USAR is out of money and ideas.

And no I don't think USAR wastes millions every day. They don't have that type of money, but if they did, god help us.

However I know on their $8m budget, they waste millions every year. This puts their wasted money burn rate at about $21k per day.

you lot are idiots...you dont understand anything or appreicate the hard work that goes in to trying to improve rugby in your stupid country...i guess you'd prefer to just let yourselves have a poor structure with a poor team...at least Melville seems to be actively trying to improve the show...USA rugby has never been in such a strong position, you lot just dont understand

Paul you could be on the USAR Board, you have all the qualifications.

Foreign, check. Dim-witted, check. Think you know everything and Americans know nothing, check. Believe US rugby worst state of affairs is the best we've ever had, check.

You could run unopposed. I suggest you contact Frank Merrill who heads the nominations committee and express an indication of interest towards a Board seat. There are no election, so Frank can slot you straight in.

The rest of us will just keep toiling away with the work of building US rugby, careful not to take any credit away from your boy Melville.

You know you might be correct, considering he's never held a CEO position before coming to USAR, if fact never held an executive level position, he's doing...I just couldn't say it Paul. Melville has been a disaster.

It was posted on a european rugby site that Fiji cancelled the trip due to time and travel. They could not justify the players leaving the euro leagues for a one off match against the USA. Too much time zone change/hassel/wear and tear on the players. Stop with the Doomsday reporting, its getting tired.

You stop it. A team of Fiji island boys having not yet earned a pro contract would have pumped Melville's Eagles.

If USAR wanted Fiji to honor the test all they had to do was pay for it. USAR had a chance to play an under powered team 10 places higher up the ranking and couldn't do it because they're broke. Spending too much money on a few salaries looks to be at fault.

For the last time read whatever you want about Fijian star players wanting to stay with their pro clubs, this match was canceled by its host, USAR, for lack of funds.


This should shut you morons up.

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Nice article. I liked it a lot.

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